The Head of the Class


Yakkay bicycle helmets create a normal look by camouflaging the protective shell with a cool hat. This product reminded me of a few years ago when we worked with a client in the construction gear business who wanted to produce a premium hard hat, positioning against the near-disposable incumbent. They were already convinced that the value could be increased by solving functional problems (comfort, temperature, sweat), but our research identified that one of the biggest issues was a social one: the way people felt about themselves in their work gear both on and off the job site. Protective eyewear and footwear had recently been redesigned to be fashionable and we encouraged them to explore something similar with hard hats. We even showed a trendy Kangol hat in our presentation.

Unfortunately, this type of insight couldn’t move our gatekeeper away from what he was already imagining as a solution and I remember his audible splutter when we got to the slide with the Kangol hat. I am not sure that image survived into the next version of the presentation, even. But as far as I know, they never launched any product at all. So, best of luck to Yakkay!

See also: Talk To The 5th Guy


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